Clinton County, Illinois

This profile presents Clinton County’s demographic characteristics, prioritized needs, key inputs from residents, and the partnership and funding landscape in the county.

Who Lives in Clinton County?

The following data highlight some important demographic information about the people who live in Clinton County:

Total Population 37,640

51% of the population live in urban areas

49% of the population live in rural areas

13.8% of the population live with a disability

Population in Poverty

Prioritized Needs

The CNA began with listening through a public survey, focus groups, and individual interviews, and with a review of existing or secondary data. To identify and prioritize the needs in each county, the CNA researchers gave each topic (or need) a score using all of the data collected. The scores were assigned using these criteria: how many people were impacted; how great the racial disparity was; and if the need was a root cause (main reason) for a condition or outcome. These scores were also driven by how community members responded to the topic through the survey, focus groups, and interviews. Using the scores given by the CNA researchers, United Way ranked the top half of each county’s needs.

Ranking Topic/Need Impact Area
1 Jobs Financial Stability
2 Built Environment Strengthen Communities
3 Transportation Provide Food and Shelter
4 Access to Healthcare Improve Health
5 Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Improve Health
6 Community Building Strengthen Communities
7 K-12 Education and Out-of-School Time Foster Learning
8 Housing Security Provide Food and Shelter
9* Justice System Strengthen Communities
9* Services for Individuals with Disabilities Strengthen Communities
11 Financial Safety Net Financial Stability
12 Income Financial Stability
*scores were tied    

Community Engagement

The findings below highlight what was heard and learned from community members. The community engagement process included: gathering insight from residents on individual, family, and community needs through public surveys; perspective on community challenges and resources from local government and social services providers through focus groups; and in-depth accounts of individuals’ daily successes and challenges through one-on-one interviews. 

After CNA partners reviewed all collected data to identify a list of priority needs for each county, residents were given the opportunity to identify the needs they believed to be highest priority. Residents identified the following as the highest priority needs in Clinton County:

*Number of community members who picked this topic / number of total community members who voted.

This community feedback was not used in the final needs prioritization because in many counties, the participant sample was not representative of the entire county. This is, however, important feedback to understand needs.

Resident Words

“Friendly but tough to feel accepted if you weren’t born in the county.”

“Nice area but not a lot of good paying jobs.”

“I live in a small residential community; a bedroom community. There are not many stores. We must drive 5+ miles to get to a grocery store/medical offices and 20 miles to clothing and other items.”

A total of 104 responses for Clinton County were recorded through the public survey, focus group, and one-on-one interviews. For the public survey, one of the 95 participants was a person of color. No demographic data was recorded for the six one-on-one interview participants and the three focus group participants.

Key takeaways from survey, interview, and focus groups in this county:

  • Clinton County residents are commonly concerned about financial security for themselves and their families. When survey participants were asked what they worry about most, the most frequent concerns participants shared were about household economics (26/61 responses). 
  • The community is becoming more engaged. All but one of the six interview participants mentioned being proud of their community’s increased connectedness and willingness to get involved throughout Clinton County. Nearly half of all survey participants echoed this sentiment, sharing that their community is “close-knit” and helpful. 
  • A growing, safe community is what residents most commonly desire for the future of Clinton County. The two most common hopes shared by survey participants for the future of their community include one that is increasing in population and thriving (12/53 responses) and a safe place to live (10/53 responses).

Survey participants were not required to answer all questions, therefore response totals often vary by question

One resident of color participated in the CNA engagement process through the public survey and one-on-one interviews. Due to the relatively low number of people of color in Clinton County and to protect the individual’s anonymity, the participant’s views have been represented in the above takeaways rather than shared separately.

Funding Analysis

The funding map tracked government and philanthropic grants of $50,000 or more awarded in fiscal year 2017. Grants were recorded in the county the terminal grantee is located in, not the terminal grantee’s service area, which may underrepresent grant funding in Clinton County.

In 2017, Clinton County received a total of $3.7 million in grant funding across 35 unique grants. These funds amounted to 0.3 percent of total regional funding and a per capita investment of $101.

Community Partnerships


Clinton County has one dedicated community partnership in the Improve Health impact area, and is also served by 43 regional partnerships that serve this county across impact areas.